Book Review: The Hole In Our Gospel

book cover

For BookSneeze, the first book I read was The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the President of World Vision.

This book is a man’s call – and challenge – to the American Church to come to the aid of the poor, sick, hurting, and homeless here and around the world.

Mr. Stearns became the president of World Vision in 1998 after a long career in executive management with companies such as Parker Brothers and Lenox. He had achieved the American Dream twice and had also suffered from his own hardship as well. When the opportunity from World Vision came about, he wasn’t exactly jumping at the chance to take it but yet he heard God speaking to him through the process via a recruiter that World Vision hired to find the next president:

Are you willing to be open to God’s will for your life?”

That is the question Stearns asks. In The Hole In Our Gospel, Stearns challenges us to look beyond what the American Church has created the gospel to be. He is challenging us to take the WHOLE gospel to heart. Not just becoming saved and being able to spend eternity with Christ but by using what God has entrusted us with to help those who are not as fortunate as those of us who live in America.

One of the main themes of the book is the Great Commission:

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” {Matthew 28:19,20}

This is what really hit me. This and when he discussed the Greatest Commandment. In Mark 12:28-34, one of the teachers of the law questioned Jesus on what the most important commandment was. Jesus answered him by saying:

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” {Mark 12:29-31}

For me, this book was encouraging and challenging. It was encouraging in that I felt like I could relate to how Stearns views the American Church in how we could do more. I can do more. I may not be called to the mission field in another country long term but this country that I love is my mission field. If I am to try to change the world in anyway, I need to do something. I may not make a LOT of money, but I do make more than most people in the developing world.

I was challenged by what I read to do what I can to change this world, to change the world’s view of Christianity. I believe that this is the time for the Church to rise up and help those who are less fortunate. I believe we need to see everyone – believers and nonbelievers alike – as our neighbors. This world is groaning and travailing for the manifestation of the sons of God and as the Church, the Bride, we are to manifest His love for the world. We need to be faithful stewards of the things that God has entrusted us with.

I challenge other believers to read this book, to see those who are suffering as our neighbors – no matter how they look. This book will make you uncomfortable and it will challenge you in all the right ways.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

See my personal disclosure policy here.

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